Endangered Mexican Gray Wolf Population Surpasses 100 Animals: Last week, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service released the annual count of endangered Mexican gray wolves living in the U.S. For the first time since recovery efforts began in Arizona and New Mexico in 1998, the population has surpassed 100 individuals. But, while an increase from 83 wolves at the end of 2013 to this year’s 109 wolves is good news, numbers alone won’t save this imperiled wolf, especially with the serious limitations and flaws in the Service’s newly released Mexican gray wolf management rule. Eva Sargent, Director of Southwest Programs, said in response: “While lobos definitely need to increase their numbers, what they need even more is greater genetic diversity. This can only happen if more wolves are released, if they are allowed to access suitable habitat and if additional core populations are established.”
It’s Official: Oregon’s Wolf Population Improving: A few weeks ago we shared with you that Oregon’s wolves are making a strong comeback, and would soon met several “benchmarks” in the state’s wolf management plan that requires a status review to determine whether or not wolves will remain listed as endangered by the state, and what level of protection they require. Population surveys by wildlife biologists this week confirmed that Oregon’s wolf population has at least seven different breeding pairs of wolves, a strong indicator of the population’s overall health. Oregon was required to maintain at least four breeding pairs for three consecutive years in each recovery zone before changing the status of wolves in that area. Now that this criterion has been met, the state is initiating the listing review process. Delisting wolves in Oregon is a public process and we’ll keep you informed about your opportunities to give feedback on this matter. Defenders will continue to encourage Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to conduct a neutral and unbiased status review to assess the wolves’ overall population health in Oregon.
Tell Fish and Wildlife Service Not to Abandon Red Wolf Recovery! Today only 100 red wolves remain in the wild – and almost all of them live in a small patch of eastern North Carolina scrub forest. These critically endangered cousins of the gray wolf were nearly exterminated until a reintroduction program was launched in 1987 to save them. Defenders continues to advocate for the expansion of the Red Wolf Recovery Program in North Carolina, but while Defenders and our conservation partners recently won a court victory halting coyote hunting at night in the designated Red Wolf Recovery Area, this is only one of the factors necessary to ensuring the recovery and survival of red wolves. To make matters worse, recently, NC officials asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to terminate the Red Wolf Recovery Program. At Defenders we believe that it is vital that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continues to stand behind and fully fund the Red Wolf Recovery Program; we can’t allow these wolves to fade away once again from their native lands. You can help us by writing the Service and tell them not to abandon Red Wolf Recovery when the job isn’t done!